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Jerick McKinnon Scores Through Air, on Ground in Finale

MINNEAPOLIS — Jerick McKinnon didn't have an answer for why he's been able to find the end zone so often against the Bears. 

But after an up-and-down season for Minnesota's ground game, the Vikings running back sure took it on Sunday.

McKinnon scored both on the ground and through the air in a 38-10 win, and now has three of his seven career touchdowns against Chicago.

"I don't know," McKinnon said with a laugh when asked about his strong performances against the NFC North foe. "I just think it's all about getting in a rhythm, whether it's the Bears or whoever.

"I'm just proud to be a part of this group and go out with a win," he added.

McKinnon finished with 110 total yards and two scores against the Bears, and helped the Vikings cruise to a win by getting on the board early.

The third-year running back took a swing pass from Vikings quarterback Sam Bradford and scampered in for a 16-yard touchdown catch.

McKinnon faked out Chicago's Adrian Amos behind the line of scrimmage at the 20-yard line, then used a burst of speed to tiptoe up the sideline before diving in past the pylon.

"I gave him a little hesitation and chopped his feet a little bit," McKinnon said. "Then I turned on the jets.

"It was just a great team win to come out on top," he added.

McKinnon showed off his athleticism in the fourth quarter out of the Wildcat package.

After faking a handoff to running back Matt Asiata in the backfield, McKinnon breezed untouched into the end zone from 10 yards out.

"We ran it earlier in the game, and I gave it (to Asiata)," McKinnon said. "I said that if we came back to it that I was going to ride it a little longer.

"The good thing about that play is that Adam Thielen made a great block to get me into the end zone," he added. "The Wildcat gives me the chance to make a decision. I felt like I could get around and get in."

McKinnon's big day featured a season-high 89 yards on 16 carries the ground, including a season-long run of 36 yards. It was also the Vikings longest rushing play of the season, as Minnesota also compiled a season-best 124 yards on the ground as a team.

"It's always nice when you get out in the open," said McKinnon, who also had three catches for 21 yards. "But the offensive line made it easy … they were opening up holes, so a lot of credit goes to those guys."

McKinnon said that while he would have liked to become the sole player to get 100 yards rushing in a game this season, he was much happier with the victory.

"I don't really have my mind set on (personal records)," McKinnon said. "I would have liked to break 100 just because we hadn't done it all year (as a team).

"I got it done in a different way though," he added. "We just found a way to get it done. It's more about the win than anything."

Besides McKinnon's 36-yard run, Bradford added a 24-yard dash, and Asiata had eight carries for 14 yards.

"It was nice to see a few break loose," said Vikings left guard Joe Berger. "That's the thing we struggle with … big runs. To see Jet running down the field a little bit, it was great." 

McKinnon, who finished the season with 159 carries for 539 yards and two scores, said it was a trying year at times for Minnesota's rushing attack.

But the Vikings saved their best rushing attack for last, and will now go into the offseason on a high note.

"So far it's been a great year in 2017," McKinnon said. "We're 1-0."

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